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We only spent a few hours in Aswan, which was insufficient time to explore the city, the temples and the local culture. However, the impression is that Aswan is a vibrant and modern city.

There are many young people in the streets. Women walk around accompanied by the boyfriend, a friend, the girlfriends or the family. They seem to care about their appearance, often disguised with fashionable clothes and high heels. Not all use the hijab.

Men also walk in groups, observing and talking about everything. Some wear modern clothes, others wear the traditional robe and fashionable sun glasses. Almost all of them smoke.

The city feels like one by the beach and with its boats and sailboats by the river. It is an obligatory stop for travellers who go down the Nile on a cruise. The sellers’ harassment is much less intense than in the other cities we visited, what makes the trip more pleasant.

Aswan

Cruise in Nile River

Today is a Christian holiday here, and we do not understand very well why but the streets near the church and the cemetery are closed. Our guide explained that this is due to government measures to segregate Christians and Muslims (later, however, we heard from someone else in Cairo that it was to prevent any attacks from groups like the Islamic Brotherhood).

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The only tourist spot we visited – and recommend – was the museum of the history of the Nubian people (The Nubian Museum) who long time ago settled in the banks of the Upper Nile in the area of the northern Sudan and southern Egypt, representing one of the oldest people in the region. The Nubians still preserve many traces of their traditional culture, such as the pottery and handcrafts and currently are mostly Muslim and recognised as a peaceful people “as the Brazilians,” many will say.

Aswan

Others sightseeing in the area:
– Abu Simbel Temple:

Located 230km south of Aswan almost in the border with Sudan. The temple was carved in the mountains at the time of Ramses II, in the XIII BC and, unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to travel there but this is for sure a must on any travellers list who have some time in Egypt.

– Elephantine Island:

Archaeological site known for having the “nilemetre”, measures of the heights of the Nile invented by the pharaohs.

– Isis Temple:

Complex of temples built at the Philae Island by the Pharaoh Nectanebo I.